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Symonds guides Aussies to solid total

A scintillating half-century from Andrew Symonds helped Australia make 6 for 186 in its innings in the Twenty20 fixture with New Zealand at the WACA ground in Perth this evening.

Symonds smashed an unbeaten 85 from just 46 deliveries, his stunning knock including three sixes and seven fours.

He also shared in a 80-run partnership for the fourth wicket alongside Adam Voges (26).

Brett Lee was the other not out batsman, although he did not score from the one ball he face.

The home side, who won the toss and elected to bat, took five runs from the opening over of the match, but they soon went one wicket down when Adam Gilchrist was spectacularly caught at backward point by Jeetan Patel off the bowling of Mark Gillespie for 1.

Gilchrist's dismissal took the wind out of Australia's sails momentarily, but a six and a four from captain Michael Clarke on consecutive deliveries in the fourth over lifted the run rate.

More confident stroke play from Clarke and batting partner Mike Hussey saw Australia reach the five-over mark at 1 for 41, but the promising partnership was broken two overs later when Hussey departed.

The Western Australian, already with four fours to his name, extravagantly danced down the wicket to Patel, but misjudged the delivery and was stumped by Brendon McCullum for 22 from 16 balls.

Clarke and Symonds appeared set for a swashbuckling stand, however Clarke made his way back to the pavilion in the 10th over when he was caught by Ross Taylor at deep long-off from the bowling of Black Caps counterpart Daniel Vettori for 33.

Symonds and Voges guided Australia past the 100-run mark in the 13th over with the athletic all-rounder playing the senior role.

He found the boundary with ease and brought up his half-century off just 26 balls with a massive six off Patel.

Symonds cleared the ropes again in the 17th over when Patel served up a full toss that was duly punished over the square leg boundary, but the Black Caps spinner got a degree of revenge only three balls later when he had Voges caught in the outfield by Taylor.

The wicket did little to halt Australia's momentum with Symonds continuing on his merry way and Luke Pomersbach - a late call-up to the Australian squad after Brad Hodge sustained a back injury prior to the match - also getting in on the act with a six from the bowling of Gillespie.

It then appeared the Black Caps had made the crucial breakthrough in the 19th over when Taylor athletically dived to catch Symonds out on the boundary, but the diminutive New Zealander lost control of the ball upon landing and the prize dismissal went begging.

Taylor made no mistake when he caught Pomersbach (15) from Gillespie's bowling in the final over before Ashley Noffke was run out without facing a delivery.

source - abc.net.au
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